This letter is in response to Jan Ramsey’s blog “Not Dead Yet—Distribution Snafu Affects Retailers and Bands.”—ED
Major labels have usurped distribution. The pressing plants are overwhelmed with their priority orders. In the mix are regional chains and major independent record stores who are getting priority. You also have stores loaning their name to fulfillment centers making buyers think they are dealing with the store. The fulfillment centers are taking orders they can’t fill. Recent examples are Black Keys [Let’s Rock] Indie Exclusive and Bob Dylan’s Super Deluxe Rolling Thunder box set. I am very concerned about the misuse of the term “limited edition.” Is it really? Often the number of pressings is not defined. This allows an infinite number to be sold. Record Store Day is a huge influencer. Yet, the playing field will not be level. A true indie, T-Bones Records in Hattiesburg often will not get the most exclusive titles. Maybe one copy of some. Yet, Amoeba will get dozens. They got all 500 of the alternative cover for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Fifty went to the UK. Nobody else got them. Labels are licensing and pressing rights to dozens of companies and major and indie artists’ titles are getting multiple pressings, cutting out smaller artists. If you want an idea of how warped the playing field is, look at eBay and the number of titles flipped. Tyler Childers’ indie exclusive of 1000. Your store [the Louisiana Music Factory] didn’t get it because priority stores and maybe insiders did. This mess has helped the vintage market. I am buying more vintage than limited edition now. Owning an original pressing is better than an anniversary pressing. I do like new artists’ first releases and test pressings. For instance, a band coming to New Orleans will have an exclusive of only 25 cassettes. I love those.
—Pat Kauchick, Enterprise, Alabama
This letter is in response to a Facebook comment left on Amanda Mester’s news post “Rapper Dee-1 To Interview Governor John Bel Edwards.”—ED
Without politics, a lot of music, if not most, would be pretty boring. Writing about the thoughts, emotions, and reactions of political visionaries, which so many musicians are, is indispensable in the recording of who we are as a people. Just ask John Lennon, Chance the Rapper, Manu Chao, Lorde, P. Diddy, Bob Marley and Bob Dylan, just to name a few. I mean, damn, do you even listen to the lyrics of songs? Here—start with this one:
—Kelli Alves, Austin, Texas
These letters are in response to John Swenson’s feature (November 2019) “Ghost Stories: New Orleans Musician Paul Sanchez Tells His Tale.”—ED
Mr. Sanchez’ music brings so much happiness to so many of us. Hoping he stays strong and healthy and that maybe he plays a little music, too.
—Susan Nunez Belsom, Monroe, Louisiana
My wife and I live on the Northshore. Jimbo [Walsh] was doing a weekly series of shows at the Wah [Chickie Wah Wah] on Wednesday. Were in town early and headed to the Wah for happy hour to wait for Jimbo’s show. Mark Carroll and Carmela Rappazzo do the Wednesday Happy Hour show. We were happily surprised at how much fun we had and how nice people Mark and Carmela are. We went back for the show on the next Wednesday and Paul [Sanchez] was performing with them. It is my understanding that this was the first time he had performed live after his surgery. We were blown away. Paul was with Mark and Carmela again last night. He is an incredible songwriter and has such a strong voice that he could sing opera if he chose. “She Never Sang to Me in Spanish” is so sad. The world will lose much if Paul no longer chooses to perform. Everyone should attend the Wednesday happy hour at the Wah. You never know who will perform with Mark and Carmela. By the way: Happy Birthday a day late, Paul.
—Dan McGehee, Ponchatoula, Louisiana